Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Knit In Progress: Weekender Pullover

In my last post, I mentioned that I had cast on a new project as a reward for enduring a week of sickness. At the time I didn't want to say what that new project was as I felt like I was going through a weird phase in my knitting where everything I touched turned to crap. The last thing I needed was to get my hopes up (again) about a design I really love and can't wait to wear, just to have the knit fall flat (again!), me feeling utterly defeated, and my knitting mojo go out the window.

I felt desperate and just needed a knit to go right for me, so I picked out a pattern that looked really easy and simple and just so happened to have the yarn called for in the pattern in my stash...AND it just so happened to be a worsted weight yarn. The bigger the yarn, the quicker the knit. Right? I wanted to cast on the new project as fast as I could that I didn't even bother to dig out my swift and ball winder from my closet. Instead, I quickly wound half the yarn into a ball by hand before I got overly impatient and decided to just cast on enough stitches for a swatch.

Yes. I swatched.

That's how determined I am to get my knitting groove back. Usually, my gauge is predictable and if I'm using a yarn that I've knit with several times before, I can generally forego a swatch and dive right into a new knit. But lately, my gauge has been all over the place and its the main reason why I'm having so many issues with my current projects. I managed to get gauge on the first try with the recommended needle size and so before I could lose that momentum I quickly cast on my new project. I quickly cast on The Weekender pullover by Andrea Mowry.

I'm using the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter, which also turned out to be a two-fer for me as I had made it a goal this year to knit something out of my Brooklyn Tweed stash. After my disastrous venture with the Loft base a few years ago, where the yarn had snapped a few times while winding it and then snapped a few times more while trying to knit a cable, I had all but given up on knitting with any Brooklyn Tweed yarn. My Brooklyn Tweed stash ended up just languishing in my stash, taunting me every time I had to dig through the bins looking for a yarn for my next project. Since I'm forever in a stage of purging, back in December I decided that I must give Brooklyn Tweed one more try and from there decide if I should keep the rest of my BT yarns or if I need to destash the rest and free up some prime stash real estate.

So how's it been going so far? I'd say, good. It's been a little over a week and already I've knit up the body, the front, and I'm halfway through the back. I don't think the sleeves will be that painful to whip up, seeing that I have short, T-Rex arms! The pattern has been super easy thus far and a really soothing, relaxing knit to boot. I think because the body is a straight up tube of knitting in the round. So mindless, so wonderful for when all you want to do is knit, knit, knit. Perfect for when I binged Bob's Burgers with the Mister when it was his turn to be sick last week and for when I had met up with friends for an afternoon of beer, knitting, and catching up.

Even the tubular cast-on and bind-off at the hem and neck were easy peasy and a nice break from the monotony of knitting stockinette in the round. I've never done a tubular bind-off before and was pleasantly surprised to discover just how easy it was to pull off and not at all as complicated or overwhelming as I had originally thought it would be. Must be all those cuff-down socks I've knit in the past and having to graft the toes! 

The beginnings of a tubular bind-off

As for the yarn, well it hasn't snapped in half on me yet (phew!) and I love the fact that I can spit splice when joining a new skein (YAY for not having a million ends to weave in!!). My only issue is the amount of dust (mainly the super short fibres and dye debris) and vegetable matter (VM) that settle everywhere I knit. And you can tell where I've knit by the faint red layer of dust that I leave behind. A few days ago I even got a splinter on the side of my finger as the working yarn slid across my pointer finger! I'm now really interested in seeing how this yarn will wash and block.

I don't want to overdo it on the knitting and have another flair-up with my hand, but I have such a great knitting momentum going that I don't want to stop. I'm hoping to finish this pullover before the week is over and since I don't have that many ends to weave in I just may actually block this project and get to wear it in a timely manner!! Shocking, I know!! My M.O. seems to be: go crazy for a pattern, knit it up in an obsessive frenzy, get turned off by all the ends and finishing work that has to be done, lose interest and forget, get distracted by shiny new project, come around years later and then block the darn thing.

Not this time. No, not this time.* 

*Ok, fine. You know me well. I'm hoping I'll do the finishings, block, and be able to wear this pullover immediately after binding off the last stitch. Hoping. Cross your fingers for me!

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